In a sobering report, a panel from the National Research Council states that the Colorado River’s flow will decrease dramatically in the coming years. The stated culprits? Population growth and global warming.
The report also discusses water management and conservation methods in the West, but ultimately dismisses them: “‘The point that we make is that the technological and conservation operations, although very useful and necessary, will not in the long run constitute a panacea for coping with the limited water supplies in this desert area,’ said panel chairman Ernest Smerdon, dean emeritus of the University of Arizona College of Engineering and Mines.” [from the Rocky Mountain News article on the report]
The Colorado River basin stretches over seven western states and supports both farming and some of the largest cities in the United States. Read the NRC’s full report free online.